Oh could you help me place this call?
Actually, I don't need any help. I have the number. But should I use the number? And how often?
My girls are getting bigger. They understand their split custody situation, even if they don't know what the exact words mean. They understand that half the time they live at their dad's house, and the other half at their mom's. They've adapted to their divided situation and don't seem too bothered by it.
It used to be that the younger of the two would call me in tears, missing her life with mom, needing some long-distance mommy love. It also used to be that I'd call them on a regular basis and could tell that they were happy and excited to talk to me.
Well times they are a changing. They rarely call, and getting them on the phone at a good time is becoming increasingly difficult.
Although I still think they are happy to hear my voice, and often beg to talk to their stepdad, calling us does not seem to cross their minds right now; and because we don't know their weekend schedule, we often call duing the middle of a movie, or playdate, or when they're off at the beach.
So lately when they're setting off for four nights at their dad's house we remind them to call us. It's often the last thing I say to them before they climb up those school bus stairs, and they eagerly and enthusiastically agree.
In fact, the last thing Merrell did before the bus pulled away last Thursday morning was to blow me kisses and make the universal hand sign for "I'll call you," repeatedly.
But there was no call (sob).
No call on Thursday night, no call on Friday night. No call Saturday either. Well by Sunday, I can hardly stand it any longer, and exercise my right as their mother and call them.
No answer. I leave a message.
The older of the two returns the call, but I miss it. sigh.
I call back but they're watching a movie. They say they'll call when it's over. But they don't.
And I knew they wouldn't. And it's okay.
Children are masters of living in the moment, and when they're at their dad's house, they're at their dad's house. They're living that life at that moment.
It's good, and healthy, and right that they're not missing me, or their stepdad, or their baby sister. I know it is. But somewhere between childhood and middle age I outgrew the gift of living completely in the moment.
And although I try my best, and have also adapted well to those four night stretches without them, I still wait for that phone to ring.